Making a Living on a Quarter Section

No shortage of young people want to get into farming and ranching, but few see how to afford the soaring start-up costs of land, equipment and operating capital. They are trying to compete in the same arena with established farmers with greater equity and a long credit history also looking to expand.
To get a foothold in agriculture today, young farmers could look at getting more per acre rather than adding more acres of production. The established organic market today pays a premium, not for what you produce, but for how you produce it.
The Organic Transition Incentive program that is part of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) in Nebraska provides a payment of $50 per acre for cropland (160 acres maximum) and $10 per acre for grazing land (320 maximum).  The payment is made in the fall for each transition year, up to three years. One year after the land is certified as Organic, the program is complete.
Not all districts offer the Organic Transition Incentive program. But EQIP is designed to meet local needs. If your office doesn't offer the program, contact your local NRCS office and ask for it.  Each summer a local technical committee meets to decide which EQIP programs they will include in the local toolbox. If they are unaware of the demand for a program, it will likely not be included. Your contact can help inform that process.


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